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Section: Survival and legacy

Legacy and memory

A stained glass memorial inside the Polish national exhibition: ‘The Struggle and Martyrdom of the Polish Nation 1939-1945’, Auschwitz State Museum, Poland.
A stained glass memorial inside the Polish national exhibition: ‘The Struggle and Martyrdom of the Polish Nation 1939-1945’, Auschwitz State Museum, Poland.

© 2011 Garry Clarkson

In January 2000, 44 governments from around the world met in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, to discuss the importance of Holocaust education, remembrance and research.

Many governments undertook to establish an annual Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD).From 2001, the UK established 27 January as HMD. That date was chosen because that was the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.In the UK HMD is concerned with remembering the victims and those whose lives have been changed beyond recognition as a result of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides.

The HMD Trust says “HMD provides us with an opportunity to honour the survivors, but it’s also a chance to look to our own lives and communities today.” In this way we are able to learn about the Holocaust and other genocides.On HMD the different peoples within our communities come together to remember, memorialise and learn. It’s an opportunity for groups or organisations to remember the past and commit to a better future.

HMD can be commemorated individually or collectively. Each year, the HMD Trust announces “a theme for HMD, which provides a focal point and a shared message for the hundreds of events, which take place around the UK”.

Holocaust memorials

There are many memorials around the world to commemorate the Holocaust and remember the victims.

This topic contains a slide show of memorials complete with explanations.

Click on the thumbnails to view the pictures of the memorials. As you move through the pictures you will be able to read a detailed explanation below each one.

The Stockholm declaration

The Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, January 2000
The Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, January 2000

In January 2000, 44 governments from around the world met in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, to discuss the importance of Holocaust education, remembrance and research. Many governments undertook to establish an annual Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD).

Below is the Stockholm declaration:

  • Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust 

    The Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust 

     A conference on education remembrance and research

     

     26-28 January 2000

    We, High Representatives of Governments at the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, declare that:

    1. The Holocaust (Shoah) fundamentally challenged the foundations of civilization. The unprecedented character of the Holocaust will always hold universal meaning. After half a century, it remains an event close enough in time that survivors can still bear witness to the horrors that engulfed the Jewish people. The terrible suffering of the many millions of other victims of the Nazis has left an indelible scar across Europe as well.

    2. The magnitude of the Holocaust, planned and carried out by the Nazis, must be forever seared in our collective memory. The selfless sacrifices of those who defied the Nazis, and sometimes gave their own lives to protect or rescue the Holocausts victims, must also be inscribed in our hearts. The depths of that horror, and the heights of their heroism, can be touchstones in our understanding of the human capacity for evil and for good.

    3.With humanity still scarred by genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils. Together we must uphold the terrible truth of the Holocaust against those who deny it. We must strengthen the moral commitment of our peoples, and the political commitment of our governments, to ensure that future generations can understand the causes of the Holocaust and reflect upon its consequences.

    4. We pledge to strengthen our efforts to promote education, remembrance and research about the Holocaust, both in those of our countries that have already done much and those that choose to join this effort.

    5. We share a commitment to encourage the study of the Holocaust in all its dimensions. We will promote education about the Holocaust in our schools and universities, in our communities and encourage it in other institutions.

    6. We share a commitment to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to honour those who stood against it. We will encourage appropriate forms of Holocaust remembrance, including an annual Day of Holocaust Remembrance, in our countries.

    7. We share a commitment to throw light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust. We will take all necessary steps to facilitate the opening of archives in order to ensure that all documents bearing on the Holocaust are available to researchers.

    8. It is appropriate that this, the first major international conference of the new millennium, declares its commitment to plant the seeds of a better future amidst the soil of a bitter past. We empathize with the victims suffering and draw inspiration from their struggle. Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity’s common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.

Commemorating the Holocaust

A stained glass memorial inside the Polish national exhibition: ‘The Struggle and Martyrdom of the Polish Nation 1939-1945’, Auschwitz State Museum, Poland.
A stained glass memorial inside the Polish national exhibition: ‘The Struggle and Martyrdom of the Polish Nation 1939-1945’, Auschwitz State Museum, Poland.

© 2011 Garry Clarkson

In January 2000, 44 governments from around the world met in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, to discuss the importance of Holocaust education, remembrance and research. Many governments undertook to establish an annual Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD).

From 2001, the UK established 27 January as HMD. That date was chosen because that was the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In the UK HMD is concerned with remembering the victims and those whose lives have been changed beyond recognition as a result of the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides. The HMD Trust says “HMD provides us with an opportunity to honour the survivors, but it’s also a chance to look to our own lives and communities today.” In this way we are able to learn about the Holocaust and other genocides.

On HMD the different peoples within our communities come together to remember, memorialise and learn. It’s an opportunity for groups or organisations to remember the past and commit to a better future. HMD can be commemorated individually or collectively. Each year, the HMD Trust announces “a theme for HMD, which provides a focal point and a shared message for the hundreds of events, which take place around the UK”.

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Commemorating the Holocaust

Commemorating the Holocaust

What happened in March